Renault set to revive classic models as electric cars

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Words: Matthew Hansen
12 Jan 2021

Almost a year on from his appointment as Renault’s new CEO, former Volkswagen exec Luca de Meo is set to radicalise the French firm’s outlook on electrification — according to a fresh report.

Automotive News Europe reports that Renault is set to dip into its French heritage with a host of new models built in homage to the carmaker’s roots. According to its sources, these include cars based on the Renault 4 and R5 (pictured in turbocharged Group B guise). Alpine is also set to join the EV party, with three new EVs of its own.

Renault wouldn’t respond to the report’s claims, although we may not have to wait long for an update. De Meo is set to unveil his strategy update for the marque on January 14. The update comes in the midst of a busy month for Renault; the firm today confirming it’s replaced Cyril Abiteboul with former Google exec Laurent Rossi as CEO of Alpine.

According to sources, the news of making electrified versions of past icons has been in the pipeline with de Meo for quite some time. It must be said that, in some cases, it clearly pre-dates the fresh-faced CEO — with cars like 2019’s e-Plein EV concept (an electrified Renault 4 cabrio) showing that Renault is keen to explore the space.

It’s been claimed that Renault isn’t in terribly great shape in its home continent. The recently announced €2billion’s worth of job cuts and cost savings supports the claim somewhat. According to Reuters, the people-mover pioneering Espace could be on the chopping block. Traditional models like the Megane and Talisman sedan might also be under threat, given the global focus on SUVs.

Renault has been threatening to do big things in the EV space for a while, now. Although the diminutive Zoe isn’t a common sight on Kiwi roads, it’s popular in Europe. Renault also sells electric versions of the Twingo, Master, and Kangoo in its home market (New Zealand only gets the electric Zoe and Kangoo). There’s also the rather out-the-gate Twizy to acknowledge.

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